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The Communicators

Joe Barton (R-Texas) discusses his proposal which aims to prohibit collecting certain data from websites directed at children.

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00:31:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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mpeg2video

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ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Washington 6, Walden 4, California 3, Mr. Adelson 2, Mr. Markey 2, Fcc 2, Tom Wheeler 2, United States 2, Us 2, Canada 2, U.s. 2, Wheeler 1, United States Citizen 1, Sheldon Adelson 1, Mr. Upton 1, Mr. Waxman 1, Mike Rogers 1, At&t 1, The Reagan Administration 1, The Irs 1,
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  CSPAN    The Communicators    Joe Barton (R-Texas) discusses his proposal which aims to  
   prohibit collecting certain data from websites directed at...  

    March 1, 2014
    6:30 - 7:01pm EST  

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fcc. congressman, if we could start with a couple the issues in the last week or so. i want to get your thoughts on the comcast and time warner cable merger and whether or not congress will end up playing a role in that. >> we haven't had a chance to study it that much. i think we will have a hearing on it. on the surface of it, i would think that congress would be generally receptive. we will look into local issues where there is a market dominance disproportionate shared concentration. i think overall we would tend to be receptive. >> tom wheeler's comments regarding the net neutrality ruling. fcc chair wheeler said he would leave title ii on the table. >> the fcc under president obama just does not get it. the courts have struck the net neutrality attempt down twice. this latest proposal will be struck down again in court or by the congress. it is kind of a technical issue.
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they're going to try to regulate the internet through what is called section 706 of the communications act. it is not the internet as we know it today, it bears no resemblance to monopoly telephone services back in the 1930's and 1940's and 1950's. what the courts have said and what the congress supports is if i walk into a grocery store and i buy a gallon of milk, i pay $3.50 a gallon. if i buy 10 gallons, i pay $35 a gallon for all 10 gallons. tom wheeler's fcc wants to say you can use as much milk as you want and you only have to pay $3.50. that is just wrong. netflix is the biggest user of the internet as people download their movies.
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sometimes there is as much as 30% of the total volume of the internet. netflix should pay more than somebody who uses the internet once a month. that is the genesis. these companies have spent billions of dollars to set up their systems and to provide fiber optics and all the mega-speeds that we just take for granted on a volumetric basis. they should be allowed to charge based on volume. >> joining our conversation is brendan sasso who is a technology correspondent for "national journal." >> thanks. congressman, you're mentioning how the fcc's rules were based on section 706 of the telecommunications act. that says the agency has the power to promote broadband. the law was passed in 1996 when you were in congress. >> on the conference committee. >> when congress wrote the provision, did you see it as empowering fcc to adopt internet
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regulations? >> there was not an internet as we know it today when we passed the telco act in 1996. the big fight was between legacy phone service and what we call the wireless market. there were fights in between the broadcasters and the cable companies. there was not any fight over the internet because in spite of what vice president gore said there was not an internet as we know it today. there was not any debate about the concept of net neutrality or anything like that. we have an internet that is working today. it has provided probably billions of people access to information around the world. not just here in the united
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states, but overseas it is probably one of the biggest platforms for freedom that the world has ever known. companies have been innovative in providing services and some of those services use a lot of broadband. what the courts have ruled is that in some point in time a company cannot charge based on volumetric use. they are not going to begin to charge the local homeowner, the local small businessman any differently than they are today but these big mega users, broadband hogs so to speak, might have to change their billing practices because they might have to pay more because they're using more broadband capacity. >> chairman walden has said it is time to revisit the telecommunications act. what are you looking for in that process?
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are there any lessons you have from 1996? what do you think the big issues are going to be on that? >> i just had a conversation with chairman walden very recently about that issue. he intends to do a number of oversight hearings and fact-finding hearings. he based on that and expects to put together a bill in the next congress and move forward because on the democratic side of the committee, mr. markey of massachusetts who at one time was subcommittee chairman of telco is now in the u.s. senate. mr. waxman of california announced he is retiring. you have three members who have been very active in telco policy for at least 40 years and they won't be on the committee.
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you have a new generation. these are all very seasoned members who are not junior by any means but they have not served in the positions as the guys that i just mentioned are retiring. it is time to look at the telco act. in 1996, the republicans had taken the majority for the first time in 40 years. jack fields of texas was the new subcommittee chairman. mr. markey was ranking member of the subcommittee. we were trying to be leading-edge at that time but if you go back to 1996, there was
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really not an internet. cell phones were bag phones. very few people had it. it was in a different environment. now i have a congressional blackberry and a campaign iphone plus a wireless beeper that i use. i have high definition television sets. you name it. my eight-year-old son has a laptop computer and a tablet. a whole different ballgame. the way we use what we now call the internet, how we use wireless communications, they all need to be brought up to speed. if we get any bipartisanship at all in the next congress, i think you will see us do that. >> what is the timeframe you are looking at? >> i am chairman emeritus. this is a chairman fred upton -- subcommittee chairman walden
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trying. i plan to be very involved. i would hope that with the right environment we could do a bill in the next congress. mr. walden and mr. upton have both told me personally they are going to be doing lots of hearings and papers to set the groundwork. >> another issue you have been involved in is online gambling. sheldon adelson has come out against allowing federal framework for online gambling saying he will do whatever it takes to stop that. does that worry you? does that make it harder to pass the bill? >> we need to clarify what i am for. i am for internet poker. poker is a game of skill. if the best poker player in the world were at this table, they would take all our money in a
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reasonable amount of time because they are better. you may be a super poker player, i don't know. you may one of these whiz kids who plays poker on the internet already. i am not for online gambling. i am for internet poker if the states want to allow their citizens to play poker on the internet. it is a states' rights position for me. having said that, mr. adelson has come out against it and he has every right to do that as a citizen. i think he is wrong respectively because there are millions of people that play poker on the internet for money right now every day. a lot of those people are in the united states but they are playing either within a state that allows it -- nevada allows it and i think new jersey now
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allows it -- they are playing at websites that are not located in the united states. they are offshore. it is going to happen. it is happening. i would hope that in some point in time, mr. adelson accepts the reality just as the tides come in and the tides go out and the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. adults with free choice in the united states and around the world are going to play poker for money on the internet and his company is in one of the best positions to offer those services and to make sure the games are honest and fair. his opposition, while i know it is sincere, is not going to succeed in the end and it would be better having him tell us the best way to do it than an effort
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to stop it. >> why not then open it up beyond poker to blackjack or slots? >> poker is skill. i play very low level, low quality poker. i usually break even and win a little money but i don't play in the big money games or the big tournaments. it is a game of skill so i don't have an intellectual or moral problem saying we should allow it to be played over the net. i am not opposed to people who want to do roulette or some of the other things. those are not skill games. there are betting schemes and various theories of betting but when you play poker, you're not playing against the house, you're playing against other people at the table. over time, the best people with the most skill will play and win. the best hand does not always win in poker because somebody
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that has more skill may beat you with a worse hand by bluffing you out of the pot. you don't have that in some of the other gambling games. you bet red, black, you bet on the seven, you bet on the two. there is some chance and luck in poker but there is also a lot of skill. >> i want to ask you about this cell phone unlocking bill that passed the house. there was a last-minute kerfuffle. what was that about? >> i think a lot of members did not understand the issue. members tend to be skittish if they don't really understand what is going on. >> do you see that passing the senate and getting signed? >> i never predict what is
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going to happen in the senate. don't get me started on the senate. the house tends to be proactive regardless of political affiliation. something needs to be done and the house gets out and does it. often times, the senate does not seem to be too aware of what is going on and tends to be less willing to be activists. i cannot predict what is going to happen. >> an issue you have been involved with is online privacy issues. the white house two years ago came out with this online privacy bill of rights and not much has happened since then. do you think they should be more involved in this issue? >> i would welcome their involvement. that is an oddity for a republican to say. i and the cochairman in the house with the online privacy caucus, we have introduced an online privacy protection bill
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for children. the do not track kids bill. i am hopeful we will get to move in this congress. i can't honestly give you a straightforward answer as to why some of these privacy issues have not been moved forward. i will tell you with the problems they have had on the obamacare website, the problems with the irs, the problems with the national security administration, there are privacy issues that have made the front pages. i think more and more of the average voter is going to demand that we move on privacy whether it is a generic privacy protection bill of rights like the white house has released or a more specific bill like we have introduced to protect children's privacy. it is time to do that. to their credit, i think the
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republican leadership in the house, speaker boehner, the chairman of the various committees, mike rogers, they sensed that and they are beginning to put packages together. hopefully you will see it on the floor sometime in the summer. >> on so many issues you are opposed to more government regulation. what is different about online privacy? would you be having a situation where the government will be telling google how they can handle your information? >> i would turn the question around a little bit. i don't consider the government protecting your individual rights to be intrusive. i think google and facebook are intrusive when they are capturing information without your permission and use it in ways you might not approve of if
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you knew how they were using it. i think that an individual has rights. i think if the constitution were passed today, the fourth amendment against unreasonable search and seizure would include a specific right to privacy. i think the only reason you did not have it in the 1700's because you didn't have the technology and it was assumed that your privacy was yours and people could not invade it unless you open the door and let them in or you gave them a letter. this concept that it is the data collector's right is flat wrong. it is my right if i choose to be
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-- have a facebook address, i should be able to set the parameters on what facebook could collect and how they could use it. right now it is the other way. in banking and all these others -- the government website for health care initially had an amazing disclaimer that was not public but was right in the fine print that you had no right to privacy. when i pointed that out, secretary sibelius said that was wrong and said she would change that and i am told she has changed it. it is time to have a full debate about privacy. i start with the premise that it is my right to privacy that is intrinsic to me as a united states citizen. it is not some company or
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government entity's right to collect or store unless i explicitly say it is ok or unless i am reasonably suspected of some crime or terrorist act in which the government with probable cause does have the right to go in and invade that to protect the public. >> you are a long-time member of congress, a prominent member of the committee. how big of a footprint do tech companies have when it comes to lobbying? >> i would say modest. most of the bigger companies have washington representatives. they participate in political fundraising and things like that. but the best lobbyist is not somebody you pay in washington. the best one is someone who votes for or against you located
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in your district. if you got a plan, a service center. i think on both sides of the aisle, i am a lot more responsive -- at&t is headquartered in downtown dallas. it is about 20 miles from my district line. if they invite me to come down to speak to some of their employees who work downtown but live in my district, that is much more effective. it is not that the people in washington are not effective, but the most effective is in your district and in your state. in washington, there are so many trade associations that on any big issue the washington side of it tends to balance it out because you hear both sides. >> i want to ask another privacy question.
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you sent a letter last year to google about google glass. you raised these privacy concerns. were you satisfied with the response? >> google and i have an ongoing agree to disagree relationship. i certainly respect the technology that google glass represents. it is amazing. when i put my privacy hat on, the ability for that to invade someone else's privacy without knowledge is phenomenal. you have not seen these glasses show up much because they are still in the beta test market phase but i did about two weeks ago participate in a seminar in one of the hotels here in capitol hill. as i walked out, a man came up to me wearing a pair and wanted
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to interview me. i knew what it was because i had seen it and got to play around with them a little bit in my office. he interviewed me and he used his google glass apparatus as the camera. the average person on the street probably wouldn't know what that was. if he engaged in a conversation with somebody and did not tell them what he was doing, they wouldn't have had a clue what was going on. the technology side of it i give them an a+. for the protection of individual privacy of people who don't wear the glasses that are observed and recorded, i think there is a lot of work that needs to be done. >> your former colleague is head of the google lobbying in washington. >> she is a good friend of mine and her husband bill paxton.
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she has to represent their company and their product in the best possible light. i have respect for that but my job as a public servant and as the privacy caucus cochairman is to point out some of the potential pitfalls of the uses that technology could result in. >> is there agreement amongst most of congress about the need for new privacy regulations? >> there is general agreement that we need stronger privacy protection. i don't think there is agreement on what that is. conceptually, just the generic, is there a need? i think both sides of the aisle would say yes to that. on the republican side, it is much more apparent now. it comes up on our retreats when we are brainstorming what are the issues. two or three years ago, privacy would not have made the top 10 and now it is one of the first things people spontaneously talk about.
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>> did edward snowden start a needed conversation in this country? >> i am not a big fan of his but in a backdoor kind of way i think the answer of the question would be yes. >> one of the issues that is in your don't track kids bill is this eraser button that would allow children to delete some ill advised things they would post online. california passed a law like that a couple of months ago to do that and he goes into effect next year. because of the global nature of the internet, everybody would have to comply with california's law. does that take away the need for federal legislation? >> just the reverse. it shows what is in our bill could be enacted and implemented. that was one of the more controversial items in the bill we we put in and the last congress. a lot of the technology companies had questions about could be done, how could you do it, what their liability was. the bill that we introduced
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we've gone to some length to revise the language so that it makes it explicitly clear that the requirement is to erase it from the page or the location that the company has responsibility for. if something is first posted on facebook, when that is erased, facebook erases it from their page and erases it from their databank, but they cannot guarantee that if somebody took that and put it on youtube and it has gone viral that you could erase it from all 10 million places it has gone to. young people do things that later on they wish they had not done and they say things and post pictures that they should not have. that eraser button is a way we don't want to ruin somebody's life because when they were 13 or 14, they posted something
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that they should not have and they later on realized that and they cannot erase it. there were days that i could erase something 15 years ago. once you voted, it is there. for a child or a teenager, it doesn't necessarily have to be a part of your permanent record. >> coming up, the privacy caucus is having the privacy commissioner from ontario. why? >> she is a leading expert on privacy and she is a very vivacious woman who speaks in a way that people listen. we have invited her to one of our privacy caucuses to hear her thoughts on what she calls privacy by design. >> does canada do it differently than we do? >> i would say that put more
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emphasis on it than we do. i don't know how much differently they do it but privacy is more protected in a legislative way in canada than it is in the u.s.. >> time for one more question. >> the fcc spectrum auction is coming up in one year. are there any concerns that you have about how they are going to structure decisions that they have made? >> that is something that chairman upton and german walden -- chairman walden are continuing to do oversight on. they want there to be an auction. it is unusual type of auction in which you have the reverse and the forward portion and it starts next year i think. as you said. broadcasters that have spectrum that they wish to voluntarily give back, they submitted and then the fcc decides which of
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those spectrum they will accept. if they get enough in a specific market to re-auction, they will have the forward auction. i think there was a real debate, real concern of how many broadcasters are going to relinquish spectrum. that is the first hurdle. you have to make a decision if you get enough of that how you go through the forward portion of it. it is a fairly complicated scheme. it is unusually long time frame. republicans are four options and for volunteerism. how this is going to work out is anybody's guess. >> does the federal government have access spectrum that they could control that they could but for auction?
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yes inanswer is probably the real world but if you ask other federal agencies, you would get back, no, we don't have anything. this is off subject but when i was a white house fellow under president reagan, the reagan administration asked all the cabinet officers to see if they could eliminate some of the interagency task forces that they were on. the secretary of energy asked me to do that project in the department of energy. the department of energy was 133 task forces that needed a secretary or undersecretary had to participate in and had meetings at least once a week or whatever. i sent around a questionnaire to all of the assistant secretaries, deputies, how many up cap -- to these task force you do think we could
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illuminate? -- eliminate? the answer was none. even though some of them never went to them, never met, when push came to shove, they did not want to give it up because at some point in time and some future, there may be a task force that helps the department of energy. the agencies would tell us that morethey cannot give back stretch -- more spectrum, they probably needed more. if we didn't outside independent audit, we were probably get a totally different report. the chairman emeritus of energy and commerce committee. this is "the communicators." >> c-span.
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created by america's cable companies and brought to you as a public service. is this the technique that -- more efficient than direct mail? [laughter] -- glamour ofr reagan had less to do with his hollywood roots. it did have something to do with these skills and grace he acquired as an actor. he always had his mark. questionselding the feel effortless. that is another aspect of glamour. people who were likely to support